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What To Make Of Raisi Reshuffling His “Young and Hezbollahi” Government 

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On April 15, Iranian regime president Ebrahim Raisi dismissed two additional cabinet members, the Minister of Agriculture and the president of the Planning and Budget Organization. Unlike the Ministers of Education and Labor, who had resigned, the recently booted cabinet members didn’t want to “voluntarily” leave! 

To consolidate power in his regime, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had spoken of the vision of a “young and Hezbollahi” government, which would effectively be fully aligned with his desires and policies. Accordingly, he ensured that Raisi would win the sham 2021 presidential elections. He later described Raisi’s ascendance to the presidency as the “Sweetest event in 2021.”  

Now, Khamenei’s “young and Hezbollahi” government holds the record of changes in the cabinet since the mullahs came to power in 1979. Some officials acknowledged that “changes in the cabinet continue” and consider the Ministers of Economy and Industry are next in line.  

These changes in Raisi’s government were supposedly aimed at closing gaps in the so-called “consolidated system.” Yet, it has so far failed and been mocked by state media. Some speak of “The domino of dismissals and resignations in the 13th government” and “What is the message of changes in the government?” 

“After these changes, the president must give a convincing explanation to the people. After all, people have questions, and if they don’t get the answers, their behavior will be different, or their protest will appear as social unrest,” the state-run Farhikhtegan daily wrote on April 16.  

The public session of the Majlis (parliament) on Sunday, in which Khamenei’s handpicked MPs slandered Raisi, laid bare the regime’s intensifying infighting. Some MPs’ statements further clarify this issue: 

  • MP Rahmatollah Nowruzi: “The Supreme Leader spoke of controlling inflation this year. We need actions, not words. Not only has the government failed to control inflation, but we have witnessed 40% inflation. Why can’t you defeat the hydra of corruption?”  
  • MP Parviz Mohammadnejad: “We are tired of government officials and their empty promises. We are tired of writing and warning you. Act, for God’s sake!”  
  • MP Fattollah Tavasoli: “The prices of some vehicles have increased by at least three billion rials without any reason. How do you control prices?”  

This acknowledgment reveals the tip of the iceberg of Iran’s financial calamity, Khamenei’s failure to get things under control, and the regime’s fear of a restive society.  In an April 16 article titled, “Changes in the government, or changing the government?” the state-run Sharq daily wrote: “The system is like a vehicle, assembled using parts of different cars.  Its engine is a trailer engine. Instead of a car wheel, it has a motorcycle tire, a  tractor tire, a car wheel, and a carriage wheel.”  

Without a solution and sticking to his main task of oppressing people, Raisi has only made bogus claims of economic reforms and ridiculous gestures, such as ordering prices to stop rising or vowing to eradicate poverty in two weeks! In his latest remarks on Tuesday, Raisi claimed that “there is no deadlock” while blaming “the enemy who is trying to spread despair in society.”  

Meanwhile, Iranians from all walks of life are continuing their anti-regime protests, and one of the main denominators of public anger is the country’s economic crunch and the regime’s role in creating and increasing it.  

“The country’s economy is long teetering on the edge of collapse, causing increasing social unrest under society’s skin. Yet, instead of providing solutions and resolving livelihood problems, the government responds to people’s grievances with coercive methods. Officials intend to force people who are crushed under the burden of inflation and high prices to accept the situation. These methods will soon backfire,” the state-run Asia daily wrote on Sunday.